Ulster GAA and the Irish FA have welcomed confirmation from the Department of Education that they are to receive funding for a new joint programme that will see the two sporting bodies work together again to deliver coaching in schools.
The new initiative – The Sports Programme 2019/20 – will focus on children at Key Stage 2 level and replaces the award-winning Curriculum Sports Programme which ended at the end of 2018.
As part of the Sports Programme 2019/20, Ulster GAA and the Irish FA will deliver classes on fundamentals and movement. The coaching partnership will help develop a life-long love of sport and it is intended that the new programme will have a particular focus on boosting participation among girls. It is also proposed that coaches will deliver workshops aimed at increasing emotional resilience in Primary 7 school children ahead of their move to secondary education.
Michael Boyd, Irish FA Director of Football Development, said: “This is great news and I would like to thank the Department of Education for this funding support in the current climate. We look forward to developing the work-plan with the Department of Education and Ulster GAA, creating a long-term, sustainable programme that benefits the health and well-being of school children right across Northern Ireland.”
Eugene Young, Ulster GAA Director of Coaching and Games Development, said:
“This is a positive development and I commend the Department of Education for developing this initiative at Key Stage 2 level with Ulster GAA and our colleagues in the Irish FA. This programme will bring many benefits to children in their latter primary school years and will incorporate a shared education element involving schools selected by the Education Authority.’’